A PRISONER'S daring escape ended in disaster when a makeshift grappling hook and rope gave way and he plunged to the ground, breaking his leg.

Blane Halligan flagged down police 24 hours later on crutches and told them: "I want to hand myself in."

He told officers he could not cope in HMP Kirklevington on Teesside and wanted to be returned to a closed prison where he felt safer.

Halligan was given an indefinite sentence for a sickening knife attack on a teenager on a bus which left his victim needing open-heart surgery in September 2010.

A minimum tariff of four years was passed by the judge, but he has served almost double that because the Parole Board still considers him a danger.

His lawyer, Mark Richardson, told Teesside Crown Court that the 27-year-old has become institutionalised, and found it difficult in the open prison where other inmates were allowed out to see their families.

"The decision to escape was made not because he wanted to be free, but because he wanted to be returned to closed conditions," said Mr Richardson. "He used a grappling hook to scale the prison wall, but it failed him and he fell some distance and broke his leg in two places.

"He took a train up to Newcastle without buying a rail ticket. His family are up there.

"He was at large for a very short time. He surrendered himself to the police, taken to hospital for treatment and returned to custody.

"Imprisonment for Public Protection sentences are highly controversial and have since been abolished, but this is a young man still trapped in those conditions not knowing when or if he will ever be released."

Halligan admitted escaping from lawful custody and had 12 months added to the term he is already serving.

Judge Howard Crowson told him: "You had been assessed as a man who is dangerous, and until the Parole Board considers otherwise, I have to treat you as such. You handed yourself in, perhaps you were injured, but you did."